A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Comettant, Oscar
COMETTANT, Oscar, born at Bordeaux, April 18, 1819, entered the Paris Conservatoire in Nov. 1839, where he studied under Elwart and Carafa till the end of 43. He first became known as a pianist, and as the author of a number of pieces for that instrument, duets for piano and violin, as well as songs and choruses. He also came forward as a writer, and soon obtained reputation as the musical critic of the 'Siècle,' with which he is still connected (1877). Comettant has an easy, humorous, brilliant style; he is a great traveller, and has published a large number of books on various subjects which are both instructive and pleasant reading. Of his musical works, the following are among the most important:—Trois ans aux Etats-unis (Paris 1858}; La Propriété intellectuelle, etc. (Paris 1858); Histoire d'un inventeur au 19ème Siècle (Paris 1860)—a life of Adolphe Sax, and defence of his claims; Musique et Musiciens (Paris 1862)—a collection of articles originally published in the 'Siècle'; Le Danemark tel qu'il est (Paris 1865); La Musique, les Musiciens, et les Instruments de musique chez les differents peuples du monde (Paris 1869)—an important work, written on the occasion of the Exhibition of 1867; Les Musiciens, les Philosophes, et les Gaietés de la Musique en chiffres (Paris 1870)—a polemical treatise.
[ G. C. ]